Sedona Wolf Sanctuary

This posting chronicles one of Meriam’s many great finds where we travel. Located not too far from Sedona, the Sedona Wolf Sanctuary is down the end of a 3-4 miles very hilly, bumpy, dirt road. While not my favorite kind of road to travel, this trip was definitely worth every yard!

The current owners, Xavier and Cynthia, purchased the property of a Native American middle-aged woman who was strongly connected to her native land and the spirits of the wolves. As we understand, all Native Americans have a strong connection to the spirit of the wolf.

When we booked our session with the wolves, we received explicit instructions on how to dress…namely long pants, long sleeves, and no “flappy” dress items. You will see the reason for this later.

Before entering into the vicinity of the wolves, Xavier, one of the owners, proceeded to align our spirit with that of the wolves. He is very convinced that wolves have a sixth sense which allows them to sense the aurora of the human.

The resounding message that Xavier imparted to us was that wolves can NEVER be domesticated. They primarily get their wolves from private individuals who find abandoned pups and think they can domesticate them.

The Sedona Wolf Sanctuary currently has 5 wolves, mostly from different breeds such as timber wolves, Great Plains wolves, and local grey wolves.

Once a wolf has been taken from the wild, they can never be reintroduced again. In fact, the law requires that all such wolves must be destroyed. Wolves which end up in sanctuaries are typically obtained from individuals who could no longer manage and/or care for them. In a moment, you will meet Kodi. He was rescued from a furrier!

One last comment. I told Xavier we had been to a wolf sanctuary on the East Coast several years ago. The caretakers there told us there has never been a documented case where a wolf has killed a human. Xavier confirmed this. The East Coast sanctuary was nothing like Sedona. As you will see, we had many exchanges with all five wolves…a most incredible experience.

DISCLAIMER: There are more photographs than usual in this post…primarily because it was such a unique experience for us.

Also, you will want to “hang” with us to the last sequence in this post. They will be the iconic photographs of our entire 2024 trip!

Entrance to Sedona Wolf Sanctuary
While we were being indoctrinated to the ways of wolves, we spotted this hummingbird sitting on her eggs.
A view of the wolf’s enclosure. As we entered the enclosure we noticed how clean and well kept it was.
Several facts about wolf enclosures: The fencing must be buried over three feet deep and inspected daily (wolves like to dig), the tops of their enclosures need to be built so they slope into the enclosure (wolves like to climb), and wolves often need to be placed separate enclosures into small “packs” because of their temperament.
Meet Thor. He is four years old and in line to be the next Alpha. He is a grey wolf. As you will see, it usually takes a while for wolves to acclimate to humans. They choose when and who to approach…this is the way of wolves.
Xavier said the wolves tend to allow women to approach first. So are we surprised by who hazards first contact? Note the expression on Thor and the mud on Meriam as she cautiously approaches Thor. The following photographs show their bonding.
First contact!
Friends at last!
Can you imagine the thrill of being amongst wild wolves? Remember, wolves can not be domesticated. In the background you see Yiva. She is two years old and still very skittish around humans.
Finally, it was the boys’ turn to be greeted.
Check out Yiva’s eyes. Think she misses anything?
Remember we mentioned previously that wolves like to dig? This is the den the wolves created, although Xavier and Cynthia had built very nice concrete dens elsewhere. This den is more than 20 feet long and over six feet deep in places. An amusing story here: The morning after Xavier and Cynthia acquired Yiva, they noticed she was missing. They were afraid she had somehow escaped. On their last look around, Xavier decided to check the den, so he began to crawl down the den. As the den descends to the wolves’ nesting place at the end, it gets very narrow so Xavier could only scoot along with his arms pinned to his side. Still not seeing Yiva, he descended to the very end where he came face-to-face with Yiva! He thought he was going to lose part of his face. However, with much relief, Yiva greeted him and all was well.
After spending more than an hour with Thor and Yiva, we moved to another enclosure. Meet Larka. She is an Eastern timber wolf from Minnesota. She is the alpha of all the wolves in the sanctuary. At 10 years old, she is approaching the end of her life. When she passes, Thor will become the alpha wolf.
Larka was friendly enough, but very detached.
We now moved to the last enclosure to meet Luna and Kodi. Here we were told to remove all caps, sunglasses, cameras, and any other “dangling” items. You’ll discover why in a moment! This is Kodi, a two-year-old who was rescued from a furrier, was our first encounter. For her first four months of life, she was confined to a very small cage. You can imagine the effect this had on her.
Now meet Luna, a two-year-old grey wolf. Note that is the only wolf of the five that was restrained. We soon learned why!
Ok, what’s this about?
Luna discovers he loves Harold!
This is our iconic 2024 trip photograph.
“I love your Harold”!
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  • maryWow that was great. I can understand why Luna loves Harold.ReplyCancel

    • HaroldThanks, Mary. I think Meriam was a little jealous!ReplyCancel

  • Bettie Green IvieWOW!ReplyCancel

    • HaroldIt was really cool, Bettie, quite an experience.ReplyCancel

  • Sandra SpencerHarold, you definitely have the “spirit “ of the wolf! Love your pictures!ReplyCancel

    • HaroldThanks, Sandra. MB and I wish whoever has the desire to visit the wolves could do so.ReplyCancel

  • KayI read this post immediately after we talked! Can’t wait to show it to Larry! What a rewarding and wonderful experience!ReplyCancel

    • HaroldKay, tell Larry we barely escaped with our lives 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Sherry MaskBeyond precious and beautiful ❤️❤️ReplyCancel

    • HaroldThanks, Sherry. It was a wonderful experience.ReplyCancel

  • GaryWhat awesome pictures were an awesome way to spend your day that spectacularReplyCancel

    • HaroldThanks, Gary. It was really awesome. And thanks for traveling with us!ReplyCancel

  • mao  i always knew you were “tasty,” Harold!  It must have been a great experience–not one I would have chosen….ReplyCancel

    • HaroldMAO, We happened to be at the right place at the right time as far as Luna was concerned.ReplyCancel

  • TiffanyWhat an incredible experience!  I love that you both had sweet moments with the wolves.  The photos capture such joy on your faces!  I think Luna captured your heart as much as you captured his!ReplyCancel

    • HaroldSo well said. U “read” it perfectly.ReplyCancel

  • Fran RoundsYr posts make me the bold adventurer-without risking anything! (I’m wolves’ kin, always love to howl.) Fine pix, as usual. FranReplyCancel

    • HaroldFran, your comments always make our day…keep on howling!ReplyCancel

  • SharonThat’s fantastic!!! I would love this! ReplyCancel

    • HaroldSharon, it was quite an experience. I discovered I was missing my left ear after we left 🙂ReplyCancel

  • RaymondWow, looks like you are Dancing with Wolf!!!  Great photography.ReplyCancel

    • HaroldRaymond, it was some experience! Thanks for the compliment.ReplyCancel